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“Nothing is more timely than the establishment and operation of an observatory to provide analysis and to allow policy reforms to be based on evidence: evidence of failures and evidence of success”
Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy 

About the Observatory


National and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

All GDPO material published on this website is licensed under a CC-BY

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Klein in roundtable discussion
Screen shot from Youtube of roundtable

100 YEARS SINCE PROHIBITION: Does banning anything ever work? 

January 2020

It is 100 years since prohibition came into force in the US - outlawing the sale of alcohol. It was derided as a public policy disaster and eventually overturned. But does banning things ever work?

Latest Publication
Analysis cover

UK GENERAL ELECTION 2019: WHERE DO THE PARTIES STAND ON DRUG POLICY?

GDPO Situation Analysis, December 2019

Martin Horton-Eddison & Joe Whittaker

On the 12th December 2019, the United Kingdom goes to the polls for a third general election in four years. Building on the GDPO’s popular appraisal of party drug policy during the 2017 campaign, this Situation Analysis presents the party manifesto positions for 2019, including comparison of party policy shifts during the past three elections, and analysis of party positions in relation to punitive versus public health approaches.

Read the full analysis here GDPO Situation Analysis; Where the Parties Stand 2019

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